New York Yankees – Alex Rodriguez No Longer Untouchable

There was a real wake up quality to the New York Yankees getting swept by the Detroit Tigers in the 2012 ALCS, with the myth of the Bronx Bombers and their feared lineup shattered to pieces. Alex Rodriguez being un-tradable because of his mega contract and value to the team doesn’t seem to exist as well.

Rodriguez had another postseason for the pantheon of shame. He hit a .120 throughout the playoffs, going 3-25 against the Orioles and the Tigers. Joe Girardi sent in someone to pinch hit for him, and eventually benched the highest paid player in Baseball. He’s 37, and there’s still five seasons left on his contract worth $114 million, not to mention the home run bonuses as A-Rod moves up the all-time rankings. He currently sits at fifth all time with 647, after hitting 18 this season.

But from an MVP, Rodriguez is now an above average third baseman, at best. That’s his GM speaking, not some critic standing in line at being the next to rip through the easiest target in the sport.

You’re talking about realistic stuff and unrealistic stuff. I don’t think it’s realistic at all for us to be moving forward with anything but Alex Rodriguez at third base. He’s still an above-average third baseman. That means despite the contract that we had committed to him, that he’s an asset at this stage still.

I don’t see us doing anything there. I don’t anticipate it. If someone wants to make phone calls, we’re more than willing to do all that stuff with any of our players, and that’s fine. You can run into something that way.

Is it logical that someone might actually look to trade for Rodriguez, at his age? With his injury problems? He’s missed 190 games over the last five seasons, and that average (38 per season) is likely to remain around that number for the foreseeable future if the past is any indication.

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But listen, the sooner we put to bed any expectation or anticipation that the Yankees are going to be solely focused on trying to move Alex Rodriguez. I think that would be false. And it would be just a lot of wasted energy on anybody’s part to be thinking. 

Do I expect him to return to the MVP-caliber type Alex Rodriguez? No. Obviously you decline with age, and he’s getting up there in his age. So no, that would be very unrealistic to think as well. But despite the age where he’s at, he’s still an above-average player at that position.

Don’t worry about the Yankees, they can afford overpaying for an above average third baseman. Rodriguez won his last MVP in 2007, his last relatively injury free season (158 games). The last two years have seen him hit only 34 home runs. He had a home run every 29.3 at bat this year. His slugging (.430) is his lowest since 1996. His OPS (.783) as well. The only category in which Rodriguez is among the leaders in the AL is being hit by pitches, but that might have to with his popularity, which also is quite low.

Is he a superstar at that position? No. But I think when anybody signed that contract , expecting him to be at that level at that age would be unrealistic also.

So what is Brian Cashman saying? That A-Rod isn’t such a good player, certainly not worth the money he’s got left on his contract. Not exactly something that draws in trades and suitors. On the other hand, it seems the Yankees are fine with this mediocrity. It gives them someone who’s above average, and always an appealing figure to follow. The money they paid and still do?  The World series in 2009 justified it I guess. They won’t be getting much for it in the next five years.

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